Shain Gandee Cousin Speaks on Tragic Death, Defends Buckwild

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In the wake of Shain Gandee's death this week, the reality star's cousin Ashley has spoken at length about her relative's life, tragic passing and even the series that made him famous.

Shain Gandee Photo

Gandee was found along with two other people in a truck covered in mud, an oddly appropriate scenario for a 21-year old who loved "mudding," described by Ashley as "country sport."

You "go in clean and come out covered in mud," she tells People. "People make mud holes. They kill up the ground and take the grass off the top. They take a water hose and soak the ground until it gets completely muddy. The more you play, the dirtier you get."

And, sometimes, the more dangerous it gets, as evidenced by how deeply buried Gandee's vehicle became and how he died from carbon monoxide poisoning as a result.

"His whole family said if he was going to die young, at least he died doing what he loved," Ashley said of how she is finding comfort.

MTV, meanwhile, has shut down production on Buckwild, as many are calling for the series to be canceled. But not Ashley.

"He was a great, well-rounded, respectable young man. He hugged everyone and shook every hand. He was just wonderful. Buckwild doesn't show anything normal teens don't do. Shain was raised in church. He didn't back-stab anyone. He was what a real man should be raised like."

A memorial will be held for Gandee on Sunday and attendees are encouraged to wear camouflage.

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